(File pix) Photo shows a consumer picking up an item at a sundry shop. A total of 5,315 notices have been issued to errant traders between January 2015 and Dec 15 under Section 21 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 (AKHAP 2011). Pix by Rozainah Zakaria

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 5,315 notices have been issued to errant traders between January 2015 and Dec 15 under Section 21 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 (AKHAP 2011).

Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism deputy minister Datuk Henry Sum Agong said that during the same period 487 cases were opened for investigation on profiteering.

“To date, 51 cases were prosecuted in court and fines amounting to RM904,000 were collected. Also 83 cases were compounded, amounting to RM391,000,” he said in reply to Senator Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin in Dewan Negara today.

Henry said the government would continue to monitor against profiteering and take strict action against traders who were found guilty.

He expressed regret that unscrupulous traders had been using the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as an excuse to increase prices.

Any party who commits an offence making unreasonably high profits will be liable to action under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 for profiteering.

If convicted, an individual will be fined RM100,000 or three yea's imprisonment or both for the first offence while for the second and subsequent offences he/she will be liable to a fine of RM250,000 or five years' jail or both.

In the event a corporation or company is convicted, it will be fined RM500,000 for the first offence and fined RM1 million for a second or subsequent offence.

Last January the ministry gazetted the Price Control and Anti Profiteering Regulations (Mechanism To Determine Unreasonably High Profit for Consumer Goods) 2016 to act against profiteering activities.

These regulations replace the Regulations for Price Control and Anti Profiteering (Mechanism to Determine Unreasonably High Profit) (Net Profit Margin) 2014 which was in force until Dec 31, 2016.

This rule uses the formula of calculating the mark-up percentage or the margin percentage on the first day of the financial year or the calendar year to determine basic profit of the business.

The percentage is based on the mark-up percentage or margin percentage on the first day of the previous year and the trend of mark-up percentage difference or margin percentage difference for the previous three years.

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